Help those in need

My dear friends when you see someone in need what do you do, do you stop and say how can I help or do you see the person in need but say to yourself not my problem somebody else’s problem and without a thought walk by on the other side of the street because my friends there are many people who would do exactly that.

Sometimes I wonder what if I had a callousness of the heart would I be better off especially financially, well yes certainly.

Well it’s not who I am and I hope it’s not who you are. It is true that I am of large stature and I am compassionate but unlike the man spoken about by John Wesley I am not insensitive to the needs of the many because I see them everyday.

In every street in every Village, every street in every town, every street in every city you see so many people who have such diverse needs. I know it is difficult to try and cater for all of them believe me in some small way I have tried.

When you see someone in the gutter especially if you’re a Christian or a person of faith do not leave that person languish in the gutter because one day that person could be you and if you have not helped another human being then there may come a time when you are in difficulty and you will not be helped.

No one should be left in the dark you should be light to them as he is a light to you. As a Christian my faith is a sacrificial faith as Christ sacrificed himself for me is it not right that I should sacrifice some part of myself for the stranger who is in need.

I make a mockery if I say I believe but do not practice what I believe. I am a Christian and I am a socialist the two things are indivisible they feed each other. Be not ashamed if you suffer from excessive compassion rather be ashamed if you have have a callousness of the heart.

I hope this day that if you see any of your brothers and sisters in great need that you will stop and say how can I help.

The reward for an act of random kindness to a stranger in need is unmeasurable. You may not receive it in this life but I can tell you will receive it in the next.

And may God bless you all on this Sunday evening

For the poor

5 most important words

None of us are in any doubt about the levels of income inequality in this country. Would it surprise anybody if I were to say that they were there during the time of Charles Wesley and that they were there during the time of William Booth. For as much as the world has changed and has advanced technologically for the poor it changes very little.

We read in the Gospel of St.Luke in the sixth chapter verse 20 how the poor will be lifted up and be exalted. Looking up at His disciples, Jesus said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God”.

I find this statement so powerful, here we have Jesus who was all compassion who was all about lifting people up saying to the poor yours is the kingdom of God. He wasn’t saying this to the wealthy no quite the opposite if we remember that parable of the rich young ruler when Jesus said if you want to be a follower of mine then give up your wealth dispense with it all then follow me and then you will have a place in the Kingdom. We know from that parable that the rich young ruler went away depressed because he could not part with his wealth after all if he parted with his wealth he would become poor he didn’t quite like the thought of that yep the reward is great.

Now when it comes to the poor we don’t really have to keep them in that state it’s about answering their needs. Not all people have the same needs but if we do our best to answer those needs I’m sure we will be looked down on quite favorably. What sin is it to ask those with the greatest wealth to step down a rung on the ladder so that our poor brothers and sisters can step up a rung. We should not be about keeping people in the gutter.

Redistribution of wealth is not in itself a bad thing. We have it practiced by the disciples in the second and fourth chapter of the Book of Acts. It is only our propensity for greed and averisk which has led us to the situation in which we find ourselves and are we not all guilty of it and should we not be ashamed of it.

The rich and the poor

There are times when I feel ashamed of this country with its grotesque levels of income inequality. Many people with great wealth probably far too much than they will ever need and many people with no wealth. Do the wealthy know the struggles of the poor even as today the wealthy do not know the struggles of the poor how much therefore has it changed since 1786 when John Wesley preached the very same thing when he said reason why the rich have so little sympathy for the poor is because they seldom visit them.

If you do not visit or associate with your poor brothers and sisters how do you know what they suffer. Too many at the top of the ladder suffer from a callousness of heart and they lack empathy for the sufferings of those beneath them.

We live in a world where it’s dog eat dog survival of the fittest all about the individual but never about the community in which we live. But when we look at the early church in Jerusalem how nobody owned anything nobody had individual possessions and what was possessed was shared among those who had nothing so that in the end all needs were met.

How many of us could truly say that we could get by without owning anything without the possessions we gather around us, possessions we cannot take with us when we go on our last journey. We gather these possessions and they become like idols and we worship them. What does it say in the book of Job ” those that cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. You do not need great wealth to live a comfortable life what you need is enough to meet your daily needs and that’s all

Common Ownership

My dear friends when people think of common ownership or ownership in common they generally think about Marx but the idea of common ownership is not Marxian its Christian in fact the first church in Jerusalem held everything in common and the proof of it is to be found in the second and fourth chapter of the book of acts.

Acts 2
43-45 Everyone around was in awe—all those wonders and signs done through the apostles! And all the believers lived in a wonderful harmony, holding everything in common. They sold whatever they owned and pooled their resources so that each person’s need was met ( Mick Fleming this is powerful stuff I tell you, its challenging perhaps that’s why we don’t read it out in churches)

Acts 4
32-33 The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them. (Mick Fleming I honestly think this is where we have all lost our way, so consumed by the need to posses more and more we have lost our souls. What does it say in the book of Job ” those that cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs” God’s grace is the greatest wealth we could ever posses).

34-35 And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the price of the sale to the apostles and made an offering of it. The apostles then distributed it according to each person’s need.

( from each according to their Labour to each according to their need) what can be more Christian than that. John McDonnell’s interview with Alistair Campbell was quite revealing when he said that Jesus was the son of God and that Jesus’s life on earth was a model for socialist living and how he believed in the New Testament.

As time catches up with us we are faced with those searching questions. WHO AM i, WHY AM i HERE, IS THIS ALL THAT THERE IS, IS THERE NOTHING MORE. These deep philosophical questions no human can answer, for we cannot even answer them ourselves. These questions are actually us looking for assurance which we look for more and more as we get older and face our inevitable demise but they are questions that only the Almighty can answer.

Be like the Good Samaritan

Many of us find ourselves in a dark tunnel and it seems to go on forever and ever without end. But that is a falseness because no tunnel goes on forever and ever there is always light at the end of the tunnel and for me as a Christian socialist that light is the light of Christ.

We need to transform society and not only society we need to transform ourselves and we can only do that through the power of the spirit of God the holy spirit. Some people say that if you are called by God you should not articulate anything politically.

On the contrary my friends if you are a follower of Jesus Christ then you’ll have to speak up about the wrong things you see in society and if it means making yourself into a nuisance then that’s what you do and have no fear about it. The parable which should be the exemplar for our lives is the good samaritan.

The Good Samaritan, a man despised, yet a man who suffered not from a callousness of the heart which so many have even today. A man whose heart was full of love and compassion for the least fortunate and most vulnerable. For many of us being an imitator of Christ is not easy because Christ was perfect and we are imperfect.

For Christ was without sin and took upon himself our sins. It is true to say that in our flawed state how many of us will take on the sin of another. So if we cannot imitate Christ because of our flawed nature let us try to live like the good samaritan doing good to all and ill to none.

So when that time comes when we must stand before the throne and give an account of ourselves and what we have done throughout life God the Eternal judge may judge us kindly.

One in Christ

Dieu tout-puissant, tous les cœurs sont ouverts, tous les désirs sont connus, et aucun secret n’est caché de ta part: nettoie les pensées de nos cœurs par l’inspiration de ton Saint-Esprit, afin que nous puissions vous aimer parfaitement et magnifier dignement votre saint Nom; par Christ notre Seigneur. Amen.

Allmächtiger Gott, alle Herzen sind offen, alle Wünsche sind bekannt und kein Geheimnis ist vor dir verborgen: Reinigt die Gedanken unserer Herzen durch die Inspiration deines Heiligen Geistes, damit wir dich lieben können Vergrößern Sie Ihren heiligen Namen vollkommen und würdig. von Christus, unserem Herrn. Amen.

Dio onnipotente, tutti i cuori sono aperti, tutti i desideri sono conosciuti e nessun segreto ti è nascosto: purifica i pensieri dei nostri cuori dall’ispirazione del tuo Santo Spirito, affinché possiamo amarti ingrandisci perfettamente e degnamente il tuo santo nome; da Cristo nostro Signore. Amen.

Dios Todopoderoso, todos los corazones están abiertos, todos los deseos son conocidos, y ningún secreto está oculto para ti: limpia los pensamientos de nuestros corazones por la inspiración de tu Espíritu Santo, para que podamos amarte magnifica perfecta y dignamente tu santo nombre; por Cristo nuestro Señor. Amén.

We are all one in Christ regardless of our native tongue

Look no further than Jesus

In my readings today from the imitation of Christ by Thomas a kempis I am reading from the 7th chapter of the second book entitled of the love of Jesus above all things.

Thomas a kempis says these words

“Blessed is he that understandeth what it is to love Jesus and to despise himself for Jesus’s sake”.

He further says

“The love of things created is deceitful and inconsistent; the love of Jesus is faithful and persevering”.

“Thou shall quickly be deceived if thou only look at the outward appearance of men. For if in others thou seekest thy comfort and profit,thou shalf to often feel loss”.

“If thou seekest Jesus in all things’ thou shalt surely find him. But if thou only seekest thyself , thou shalt also find thyself, but to thine own destruction”.

I would urge all who say that they are a follower of Christ to read this book perhaps then again not because it may leave you thinking that you have fallen short.

I am reading it a chapter at a time and then I am spending time in prayer and considering in a very deep way what the author is trying to say.

In my reading of this book it is clear to me that many of us and I include myself are falling short of the pattern of Christian behaviour. We are not imitating Christ as we should . What we are doing I think is that we are trying to compromise in order to fit in with this secularistic society.

I think those in episcopal authority also need to read this book and anybody else in authority at that matter. It is a beautifully written book but the author does not shy away from sayng it as it is.

As Christians we need the challenge in order to be challenged I hope some of you can understand that. Let me repeat that we need the challenge in order to be challenged. In a very secular society it is difficult for Christians and Christian churches to be seen as relevant.

The church should not have any fear about being seen as relevant because it will always be relevant because the church must speak to those profound needs that there are in Society. If we do not do that we might as well shut the doors’ knock down the buildings and each go thine own way.

I see so many people with such profound needs that Society cannot answer. I see so many people living in what I call a spiritual vacuum. They are looking for something yet they know not what they are looking for. But the answer has always been there and it still is there you just have to see it.

And I want to Pray God’s blessings upon you all today